|Born||August 13, 1961|
Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
|Genres||Video game music|
Koji Kondo (Japanese: 近藤 浩治, Hepburn: Kondō Kōji, born August 13, 1961) is a Japanese music composer, pianist, and music director who works for the video game company Nintendo. He is best known for his involvement in numerous contributions in the Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda series of video games, among others produced by the company. Kondo was hired by Nintendo in 1984, becoming the first person hired by them to specialize in musical composition for video games. Shortly after, Kondo was assigned as the sound designer on the 1985 game Super Mario Bros. His work on the game, especially the overworld musical theme, has often been cited as among the most memorable in video games.
Kondo was born in Nagoya, Japan, on August 13, 1961.He began taking lessons on the electronic organ from the age of five. He improved his skills in the instrument in a cover band that played jazz and rock music. Kondo studied at the Art Planning Department of Osaka University of Arts, but was never classically trained or academically dedicated to music.
With a love of arcade video games such as Space Invaders and the early Donkey Kong series, he said video games were the only place where he could find the kind of sound creation that he was looking for. He gained some experience in composing and arranging pieces, using the piano, and a computer by programming sounds in BASIC.
In 1984, during Kondo's senior year, Nintendo sent his university a message recruiting for music composition and sound programming. He successfully applied for the job without requiring any demo tapes.He recalls, "I found my way to Nintendo by looking at the school's job placement board. You're supposed to apply to many different companies, but I saw the Nintendo ad, and had a love of making synthesizers, and loved games, and thought – that's the place for me. I interviewed with one company, Nintendo, and that's where I've been ever since." Kondo is the third person hired by Nintendo to create music and sound effects for its games, joining Hirokazu Tanaka and Yukio Kaneoka. However, he was the first at Nintendo to actually specialize in musical composition.
His first work at Nintendo was the audio design for the 1984 arcade game Punch-Out!! .As the Famicom had become popular in Japan by then, Kondo was assigned to compose music for the console's subsequent games at Nintendo's new development division, Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development (EAD). His second work at Nintendo was an instruction manual on how to program Japanese popular music into the Famicom using the peripheral Family BASIC . To conclude his first year at Nintendo, he created some of the music of Devil World , alongside Akito Nakatsuka. In 1985, Nintendo started marketing the Famicom abroad as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to capitalize on the 1983 video game crash that had devastated Atari, Inc. and other companies. Super Mario Bros. was Kondo's first major score. The game's melodies were created with the intention that short segments of music could be endlessly repeated during the same gameplay without causing boredom. The main theme is iconic in popular culture and has been featured in more than 50 concerts, been a best-selling ringtone, and been remixed or sampled by various musicians.
Kondo's work on The Legend of Zelda scores has also become highly recognized. He produced four main pieces of background music for the first installment of the series; the overworld theme has become comparable in popularity with the Super Mario Bros. main theme. After the success of The Legend of Zelda, he provided the score for two Japanese-exclusive games, The Mysterious Murasame Castle (1986) and Shin Onigashima (1987). He created the soundtrack to Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (1987),which was later rebranded outside Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2 in 1988.
Kondo returned to the Super Mario series to produce the scores to Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988) and the SNES launch title Super Mario World (1990). Koichi Sugiyama directed a jazz arrangement album of Super Mario World's music and oversaw its performance at the first Orchestral Game Musical Concert in 1991. After finishing the soundtrack to Super Mario World, Kondo was in charge of the sound programming for Pilotwings (1990), while also composing the "Helicopter Theme" for it, and created the sound effects for Star Fox (1993). In 1995, he composed for the sequel to Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island . Until the early 2000s, Kondo would usually write all compositions by himself on a project, with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 's being the last one Kondo worked on alone. Since then, he has been collaborating with other staff members at Nintendo, advising and supervising music created by others, as well as providing additional compositions for games, including Super Mario Galaxy , The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks , The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Super Mario 3D World . He also served as the sound director and lead composer of Super Mario Maker and its sequel, Super Mario Maker 2 .
Kondo attended the world premiere of Play! A Video Game Symphony at the Rosemont Theater in Rosemont, Illinois in May 2006, where his music from the Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda series was performed by a full symphony orchestra.[ citation needed ] He also attended and performed in a series of three concerts celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda series in late 2011. He performed piano with the American rock band Imagine Dragons live at The Game Awards 2014 ceremony in December 2014.
Kondo's music for Super Mario Bros. was designed around the feeling of motion that mirrors the player's physical experience.This followed the philosophy of series creator and designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, who demanded that audio for the game be made "with substance" and are synchronized with elements of the game. As a result, Kondo based a number of the score around genres that are primarily used for dancing, such as Latin music and the waltz.
In the first The Legend of Zelda, Kondo juxtaposes the game's overworld theme with the theme that plays in dungeons. Kondo remarked on the importance of projecting distinct characters through music, so that players know almost immediately where they are within the game.Kondo used this contrast in other games he worked on, including Super Mario Bros.
|Devil World||with Akito Nakatsuka|
|Kung Fu||Sound effects|
|Super Mario Bros.|
|1986||The Legend of Zelda|
|The Mysterious Murasame Castle|
|Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels|
|1987||Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic|
|1988||Super Mario Bros. 2|
|Super Mario Bros. 3|
|1990||Super Mario World|
|Pilotwings||Programming. Also composed the "Helicopter Theme".|
|1991||The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past|
|1993||Star Fox||Sound effects|
|1996||Super Mario 64|
|1997||Star Fox 64||with Hajime Wakai|
|1998||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time|
|2000||The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask||with Toru Minegishi|
|2002||Super Mario Sunshine||with Shinobu Tanaka|
|The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker||with Kenta Nagata, Hajime Wakai, and Toru Minegishi|
|2004||The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures||with Asuka Ohta|
|2006||New Super Mario Bros.||composed the "Overworld Theme"|
|The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess||with Toru Minegishi and Asuka Ohta|
|2007||Super Mario Galaxy||with Mahito Yokota|
|2008||Super Smash Bros. Brawl||musical arrangements|
|2010||Super Mario Galaxy 2||with Mahito Yokota and Ryo Nagamatsu|
|2011||The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword||composed the "Prologue" theme|
|2013||Super Mario 3D World||with Mahito Yokota, Toru Minegishi, and Yasuaki Iwata|
|2014||Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U||musical arrangements|
|2015||Super Mario Maker||with Naoto Kubo and Asuka Hayazaki|
|2016||The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD||with Toru Minegishi and Asuka Ohta|
|2017||Super Mario Odyssey||with Shiho Fujii and Naoto Kubo|
|2018||Super Smash Bros. Ultimate||musical arrangements|
|2019||Super Mario Maker 2||with Atsuko Asahi, Toru Minegishi and Sayoko Doi|
|1993||Super Mario All-Stars|
|Mario Party 2|
|Mario Party 3|
|Mario Kart Super Circuit|
|2002||Mario Party 4|
|The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords|
|2003||Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour|
|Mario Party 5|
|Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga|
|2004||Mario vs. Donkey Kong|
|Mario Power Tennis|
|The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap|
|Mario Party 6|
|Yoshi's Universal Gravitation|
|2005||Mario Party Advance|
|Mario Superstar Baseball|
|Mario Tennis: Power Tour|
|Mario Party 7|
|Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time|
|2006||Mario Hoops 3-on-3|
|Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis|
|2007||Mario Party 8|
|DK Jungle Climber|
|Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games|
|Mario Party DS|
|Mario Super Sluggers|
|2009||Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story|
|Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!|
|Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games|
|New Super Mario Bros. Wii|
|The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks|
|2010||Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!|
|Mario Sports Mix|
|2011||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D|
|The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition|
|Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games|
|2012||Mario Party 9|
|Mario Tennis Open|
|New Super Mario Bros. 2|
|New Super Mario Bros. U|
|Paper Mario: Sticker Star|
|2013||Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon|
|Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move|
|New Super Luigi U|
|Mario & Luigi: Dream Team|
|Wii Party U|
|Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games|
|Mario Party: Island Tour|
|2014||Mario Golf: World Tour|
|2015||The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D|
|Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars|
|Mario Party 10|
|Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash|
|Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam|
|2016||Mini Mario & Friends: Amiibo Challenge|
|Star Fox Zero|
|Star Fox Guard|
|Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games|
|Mario Party: Star Rush|
|Paper Mario: Color Splash|
|2017||Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle|
|Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions|
|Mario Party: The Top 100|
|2018||Mario Tennis Aces|
|Super Mario Party|
|Starlink: Battle for Atlas|
|2019||Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020|
|2020||Paper Mario: The Origami King|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2011||Super Mario Galaxy 2||British Academy Games Awards (Best Original Music)||Nominated|
|2014||Super Mario 3D World||British Academy Games Awards (Best Original Music)||Nominated|
|Video Game Music Online (Best Soundtrack – Retro / Remixed)||Nominated|
Shigeru Miyamoto is a Japanese video game designer, producer and game director at Nintendo, where he serves as one of its representative directors. He is the creator of some of the most acclaimed and best-selling game franchises of all time, including Mario and The Legend of Zelda. He is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished and influential designers in the history of video games.
Super Mario Bros. 3 is a platform game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was released for home consoles in Japan on October 23, 1988, in North America on February 12, 1990 and in Europe on August 29, 1991. Prior to its release on the NES, it was initially released in North America on July 15, 1989 via PlayChoice-10 arcade machines. It was developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development, led by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka.
Super Mario World is a 1990 platform game developed by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The story follows Mario's quest to save Princess Toadstool and Dinosaur Land from the series' antagonist Bowser and his minions, the Koopalings. The gameplay is similar to that of earlier Super Mario games: players control Mario or his brother Luigi through a series of levels in which the goal is to reach the goalpost at the end. Super Mario World introduced Yoshi, a dinosaur who can eat enemies, as well as gain abilities by eating the shells of Koopa Troopas.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is a 1986 side-scrolling platform game developed and published by Nintendo as the first sequel to their 1985 bestseller Super Mario Bros. The games are similar in style and gameplay, apart from a steep increase in difficulty. Like the original, Mario or Luigi venture to rescue the Princess from Bowser. Unlike the original, the game has no two-player option and Luigi is differentiated from his twin plumber brother with reduced ground friction and increased jump height. The Lost Levels also introduces setbacks such as poison mushroom power-ups, counterproductive level warps, and mid-air wind gusts. The game has 32 levels across eight worlds as well as 20 bonus levels.
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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It was released in Japan and North America in November 1998, and in PAL regions the following month. Ocarina of Time is the fifth game in The Legend of Zelda series, and the first with 3D graphics.
The Legend of Zelda, originally released in Japan as The Hyrule Fantasy: Zelda no Densetsu, is a 1986 action-adventure video game developed and published by Nintendo and designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. Set in the fantasy land of Hyrule, the plot centers on an elf-like boy named Link, who aims to collect the eight fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom in order to rescue Princess Zelda from the antagonist, Ganon. During the course of the game, the player controls Link from a top-down perspective and navigates throughout the overworld and dungeons, collecting weapons, defeating enemies and uncovering secrets along the way.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the third game in The Legend of Zelda series and was released in 1991 in Japan and 1992 in North America and Europe.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 home console. It was released worldwide in 2000 as the sixth main installment in The Legend of Zelda series and was the second to use 3D graphics, following 1998's The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, to which it is a direct sequel. Designed by a creative team led by Eiji Aonuma, Yoshiaki Koizumi, and Shigeru Miyamoto, Majora's Mask was completed in less than two years. It featured enhanced graphics and several gameplay changes from its predecessor, though it reused a number of elements and character models, which the game's creators called a creative decision made necessary by time constraints.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the GameCube home video game console. The tenth installment in The Legend of Zelda series, it was released in Japan in December 2002, in North America in March 2003, and in Europe in May 2003.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is a 1993 action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. It is the fourth installment in the Legend of Zelda series and the first for a handheld game console. Link's Awakening is one of the few Zelda games not to take place in the land of Hyrule, and it does not feature Princess Zelda or the Triforce relic. Instead, the protagonist Link begins the game stranded on Koholint Island, a place guarded by a whale-like deity called the Wind Fish. Assuming the role of Link, the player fights monsters and solves puzzles while searching for eight musical instruments that will awaken the sleeping Wind Fish and allow him to escape from the island. It is also the only Zelda game with Yoshi.
Super Mario Galaxy is a 2007 platform action-adventure video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii. It is the third 3D game in the Super Mario series. As Mario or Luigi, the player embarks on a quest to rescue Princess Peach, save the universe from Bowser, and collect 121 Power Stars. The levels in the game consist of galaxies filled with minor planets and worlds, with different variations of gravity, the central element of gameplay. The player character is controlled using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, and completes missions, fights bosses, and reaches certain areas to collect Power Stars. Certain levels use the motion-based Wii Remote functions.
Toru Minegishi is a Japanese video game composer known for his work on Nintendo games, most notably in The Legend of Zelda and Splatoon series. He was raised in a musical family and developed an interest in video games and their music from an early age. Minegishi did not receive any special education, but he gained experience as a musician during his school and college years. He later applied at Nintendo.
The Super Mario Bros. theme, officially known as the "Ground Theme" or "Overworld Theme", is a musical theme originally heard in the first stage of the 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System video game Super Mario Bros.. It was one of six themes composed for the game by Nintendo sound designer Koji Kondo, who found it to be the most difficult track to compose for it. The theme is set in the key of C major and features a swung rhythm with prominent use of syncopation. In later installments with more powerful sound hardware, it is often scored as a calypso song led by steel drums.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a 2D side-scrolling platform video game developed by Nintendo for the Wii. A follow-up to the 2006 Nintendo DS game New Super Mario Bros., it was first released in Australia, North America, and Europe in November 2009, followed by Japan a month later. Like other side-scrolling Super Mario games, the player controls Mario as he travels eight worlds and fights Bowser's henchmen to rescue Princess Peach. Up to four people can play in cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes, taking control of Mario as well as Luigi and one of two multicolored Toads. The game also introduces "Super Guide", which allows the player to watch a computer-controlled character complete a level.
Symphonic Legends – Music from Nintendo was a symphonic tribute concert held in Cologne, Germany on 23 September 2010 by the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln, featuring video game music from Japanese game developer Nintendo. The concert featured symphonic arrangements found in some of Nintendo's biggest game series, such as Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Pikmin, F-Zero and Donkey Kong. The concert was produced and directed by Thomas Böcker, with arrangements provided by Finnish composers and musicians Jonne Valtonen and Roger Wanamo, as well as Japanese game music composers Masashi Hamauzu, Hayato Matsuo, Shiro Hamaguchi and German film composer Torsten Rasch.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS. It is the seventeenth installment in The Legend of Zelda series and a spiritual successor to the 1991 Super Nintendo Entertainment System game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Officially announced in April 2013, A Link Between Worlds was released in Australia, Europe, and North America in November 2013. A month later, it was released in Japan as The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods 2.
Super Mario Bros. is a platform game developed and published by Nintendo. The successor to the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros. and the first in the Super Mario series, it was released in 1985 for the Famicom in Japan. Following a limited US release for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in late 1985, the Vs. Super Mario Bros. arcade game port for the Nintendo Vs. System received a wide international release for overseas markets outside of Japan in early 1986, before the NES version received a wide release in North America the same year and in PAL regions in 1987. Players control Mario, or his brother Luigi in the multiplayer mode, as they travel the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Toadstool from Bowser. They must traverse side-scrolling stages while avoiding hazards such as enemies and pits with the aid of power-ups such as the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower and Starman.